Tips on Choosing a Cemetery for Final Disposition- By Desiree Roose

Most people do not realize that there is a lot to consider when choosing a cemetery as a final resting place. If you are thinking about pre-planning your final arrangements, choosing a cemetery is a very important step. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing a cemetery for either you or even a loved one.

Is the cemetery close to kids and family?

This might seem obvious, but for some this has not been considered. For example, my great grandparents were snowbirds, and both passed away in and were buried in Florida. Unfortunately, their kids and grandkids didn’t live anywhere close to Florida. They assumed it was easier for the family to just bury them where they lived, but in reality, it was harder for the family during the grieving process to not have a place to visit, which made the grieving process harder because there was never closure for some.

It is also problematic without family close by because there is no one to maintain the memorial. When I started researching my family tree, I called the cemetery and requested a photo of the memorial. When I got the photo, it was so hard to read. 30 years of sitting under a tree made the memorial mossy and dirty. Since no one lived close, there was no one to clean the memorial.

Do you have other family there?

Is there a cemetery where the majority of your family is interred? If so, then why not be close to those you love? My husband and I went back and forth about where we wanted to go. We finally decided on Miami Cemetery in Corwin (near Waynesville) when my dad said there were extra lots on the family plot available. That is something to check into. If there are open lots in a family plot, then there might be a chance you could be there without paying for the lot. Some kids don’t even know their parents purchased multiple lots; this happens all the time If your parents are still living you may want to ask them.

This is also wonderful for those who are passionate about genealogy! What is better than to find a cemetery where you have multiple generations buried! Let me tell you from experience it is an amazing experience to take your children to a cemetery and say,  “here are your great, great grandparents, and their parents, and their grandparents.” If you can give someone that gift in 100 or 200 years, then why not!

Will there be perpetual care?

This is an important one! Many small country cemeteries do not have perpetual care meaning once the cemetery is full then no one potentially would maintain the grounds. I have seen it before, overgrown grass, off-set memorials on foundations, fallen trees and what not. Many times, these cemeteries are only taken care of if a volunteer group comes to clean up. If you want your family to be able to visit or want your memorial taken care of, then choose a large cemetery or a city cemetery. Most of the time, cemeteries maintained by cities will be taken care of even after they are full. The city maintains crews and employees to mow and clean on a regular basis. If a tree falls, they will remove it, and if heaven forbid it falls on a memorial, usually the cemetery is good about fixing it or replacing it.

Are you allowed the memorial you want?

If the answer is no, then look for a cemetery that allows you to have what you want. Make sure when you are shopping around, that you ask the question, “what type of memorial can I have?” A great example of this is my grandmother. Back in the 1960’s a salesman would come to your door and sell you graves from a cemetery. Yes, you read that correctly, they would sell cemetery plots door to door. My grandmother was one of the people who purchased her lots this way. She thought it was easy and everyone was doing it. The problem was she didn’t ask about the regulations. She didn’t know it was an flat, lawn-level marker cemetery. Twenty years later when my grandfather passed, she realized she was not allowed an upright memorial. She regretted not asking more questions.  

Choosing a cemetery can be a daunting experience we understand!  Whether you choose the memorial before or after, our consultants can guide you through the process. If you have already chosen a cemetery, we can work with them to find a memorial that fits their regulations. If you decide to choose a memorial before a cemetery, our consultants can help you find a cemetery that will allow you to have the memorial of your choosing. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, click the link!

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